The Benefits of a Mentorship Relationship

The Benefits of a Mentorship
“Being a mentor is not only
beneficial for your mentee, but
is also beneficial to the profession as it increases the knowledge
base of newer professionals. It often gives a mentee a deeper and
more practical understanding of
the daily work of librarians then
they might otherwise receive. The
mentor can also be of great benefit to the mentee by introducing
them to other professionals and
by Charissa Jefferson
encouraging their involvement
Mentor Chair, SLA-SCC
in professional associations and
encouraging their ongoing and
I firmly believe that having the lifelong commitment to profesright “mentor can elevate your sional development. Mentors can
professional capabilities expo- also benefit by learning from their
nentially” (Scivicque, 2011). For mentees and benefiting from new
myself, I have had several men- skills the mentee may possess or
tors. All who have been invalu- be learning in library/information
able resources and have brought schools. The relationships they
wealth to my professional portfo- develop may become life-long
lio. Different mentors fulfill many friendship. Mentors can really
facets of your career
goals. However, very few
people take advantage
of having a mentor at all.
Mentors are amazing people who want to
share their experience,
and perhaps advice or
assistance. If you take
the time to cultivate the
relationship, you will
earn a lifelong friend and
potential future business
partner. Mentorship is an
enriching win-win relationship for
both the mentor and mentee because it is about making a genuine
connection with another person
where each person learns something. As best expressed by Doris
Helfer, SLA-SCC’s CSUN Liaison:
SLA-SCC Newsletter, vol. 38 (IV)
The beauty of mentorship is
that its part-of lifelong learning
as you can have a mentor at every stage of your life and career as
we continue to learn and evolve.
When choosing a professional
mentor, look for someone who has
had a successful career you admire or would like to emulate and
whose character you also respect.
The goal is to spend quality time
with someone who embodies the
professional characteristics (i.e.,
trustworthiness, honesty, openness and an eagerness to share)
you are striving to achieve. Be sure
to layout your needs for confidentiality if you have them. Also, be
clear on how often you want to be
in contact if this is an ongoing dialog. Then the rest is fun!
I hope I’ve inspired you to want
to become or to find a mentor.
To make it easy on you, I have
volunteered to help make such
connections for any SLA-SCC
member. Please choose if you
want to be a mentor or mentee and what you are looking
for (i.e., your field and desired
attributes). The more specific
you are, the better I can try to
match. E-mail me at:
help new professionals develop
the confidence and abilities to become successful in their careers
and it is really wonderful to watch
new professionals develop successful careers.”
Scivicque, Chrissy. “How to
start a mentorship relationship” July 18, 2011. Forbes. Accessed August 7, 2013 http://